Barely few weeks after the discovery of three polio cases in Borno State, there is growing anxiety among residents of Takai and Tofa local government areas of Kano State following the discovery of two compatible polio cases, one in each of the local councils, by the health officials saddled with the responsibility of immunizing under five children against the life-threatening virus in the State.
During a visit by members of Journalists for Health (JFH) to the affected LGAs in the State, it was learnt that the suspected compatible polio cases were discovered during the April round of Immunization Plus Days (IPDs).
Following the report, the authorities swiftly swung into action for the required medical analysis to ascertain the status of the suspected cases.
While the case in Takai LGA was confirmed negative, it was gathered that the symptoms of the compatible polio case at Gajida settlement in Tofa LGA had the possibility of being positive, but quite unfortunate; the test was inconclusive when the victim passed on. A nephew of the victim who lives together with the boy prior to his death, Mallam Muazu Gajida confirmed the incident to JFH, describing it as unfortunate.
A Zonal Coordinator representing the State Ministry of Health in Tofa LGA, Hajiya Aisha Usman Hassan confirmed to our correspondent that after health officials took blood sample of the under five year old boy for necessary diagnosis, it was suspected that the result had likely symptoms of polio meningitis, but unfortunately, on their way back to get his blood for the second test, the boy was reported dead.
The development had since created fear in the minds of many residents of the area considering the fact that the boy had mingled with many of his age mates prior to his ill-health and eventual death. The situation increased appetite of parents of the area for immunization against polio during the just concluded Immunisation Plus Day in the State as many of them were desperately presenting their wards to vaccinators for proper immunisation.
When contacted via telephone, the State Director of Emergency Operation Centre under the State Ministry of Health, Dr Imam Wada Bello, allayed fear of new polio cases in the entire State, saying that the routine test had been conducted on the two compatible cases and the results were negative.
Dr Bello described the just concluded IPDs in Kano State as “successful”, saying that the exercise was gearing towards sustaining status of 17 months polio free in the State. He added that another round of the house-to-house polio immunisation exercise would be conducted in the next two weeks to prevent transmission of the virus from Borno and other neighbouring States.